Connecting Things Event

To kick off a month full of events, Connecting Things held a panel discussion at the Cove on June 1st about Creatives in Tech. The packed house came to hear panelist thoughts on creativity and innovation, as well as mingle and network before and after the event.

Amy Hood of design studio Hoodzpah was the moderator of the panel of local tech creatives that included Joel Beukelman, a designer of Android at Google, Josh Hemsley, the Head of Creative at Payroll, and Aubrey Johnson, a freelance designer and developer, who all have a great deal of experience in technology design and development in Orange County and Silicon Valley.

The panelists discussed their backgrounds with risk-taking, moving to new jobs when opportunities presented themselves, and how experiences can shape employment paths while working in fulfilling roles, all with a focus on the growing community of creatives and tech enthusiasts in Orange County. With his experiences in different areas of California, Aubrey Johnson shared his belief that the continued growth of entrepreneurship in Orange County depends largely on entrepreneurs developing products or businesses focused on exiting into larger companies with a local presence such as Oracle or The Walt Disney Company, so that money can then be used to fund new startup endeavors. “I think that some of the advantages to being here is that there are different types of creative… not everybody is a product designer and that’s kind of how it is in San Francisco and the Bay Area.”

The discussions continued on topics such as product design, hiring creative, growing innovation in technology, and the significance of tangible technology, and concluded with a long Q&A session where the panel answered questions ranging from website and app designs and interfaces to branding and companies being aware of their audience.